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📆 Schedule: Set start and end dates on a lesson or step
📆 Schedule: Set start and end dates on a lesson or step

Unlock content on schedule and send your learners timely notifications.

Laurie Garcia avatar
Written by Laurie Garcia
Updated over a week ago

For admins, editors, teachers, and moderators

Educators who schedule dates have much more success keeping everyone on track to complete a course than those who don’t schedule dates at all. Completion rates for groups with due dates are often 60% higher than groups who just move at their own pace. Scheduled dates on the Path plus optional email reminders will help your learners plan ahead for success...and catch up if they fall behind.

Here's what is included for staff:

  • An easy-to-use interface that auto-saves your edits as you go

  • Send scheduled notifications for an entire lesson or for individual steps

  • You control how many notifications are sent (defaults to none)

  • You control when they are sent, down to the minute

  • You determine the audience they send to: all learners, learners who have not completed, learners who have completed

  • Add your own custom subject and body to the message for each reminder in the language of your choice (optional)

  • Lock steps or lessons with a start date (optional)

  • Mark steps or lessons as late if not completed by the end date (optional)

Here's what is included for learners:

  • Learners can see what's due on a particular Path at a glance

  • Learners will see a live countdown on the lesson or step if it's locked with a start date

  • Learners will receive more timely and tailored notifications by email (and by push notification on the app)

  • Learners taking scheduled courses will have access to a Calendar on their Home page that also syncs to popular external calendar apps

See a demo of the new Scheduler and Reminders:

How to schedule start and end dates

Moderators, teachers, editors, and admins can schedule Cohorts. If you don't have a Cohort yet, create a Cohort. If you offer multiple Cohorts, keep in mind that the schedule is unique to each Cohort.

  1. Open the Cohort to the Path and make sure you're in "Teach" mode.

  2. Select the "Schedule" icon on any Lesson or Step.

  3. Select your Start and/or End dates.

Once you've selected Start and/or End dates, you can optionally add reminders and customize them. Optionally lock content until the Start date is reached, or mark content as due if it should be marked late after the End date has passed. See further instructions below.

Lessons versus Steps

You can select the Schedule icon on either a Lesson or a single Step.

  • On Lessons: If you select the Schedule icon from a Lesson, you can set start and end dates on the lesson as a whole rather than on the individual steps. This can reduce the number of reminder emails that the learners receive, while still keeping them on track. If you set up reminders to send to "all incomplete," learners will need to complete the entire lesson (marking all required and optional steps) or they will receive the "incomplete" reminder.

  • On Steps: If you select the Schedule icon from an individual Step on the Path, or open a Step and select the Schedule icon in the upper right corner, the dates you set will only affect that one step. Use this if only a few steps in the lesson should be scheduled, or if the schedule varies between steps in the lesson.

⚠️Please note: If you have start and end dates set on the Lesson, you won't be able to select a date/time on a Step within the Lesson that exceeds what is set on the Lesson. For example, if your Lesson ends on Friday at midnight, you can't extend the end date on one of the Steps into the following Saturday. If a Lesson starts Monday morning, you won't be able to open one of the Steps on the preceding day. However, you can set varying dates on each of the Steps individually if you remove the dates from the Lesson.

Start dates versus end dates

Start dates are helpful if you want a class to start on a set date and release content a week at a time, or lock access to an assessment or project before a certain date.

End dates are helpful for live webinar events, assessments, or for that major project that you've asked your learners to submit on time. Accountability is often the key to completion. End dates will never lock your learners out of the content. They can go back and catch up or review anytime.

When you open the Schedule icon, you will see two options: Starts and Ends.

  • When setting a start date, you can optionally lock learners out of the step until the start date is reached. Toggle "Lock content until start" to the on position.

  • If you set an end date, you can optionally mark the assignment as "late" if submitted past the end date. This will display to learners and to staff. Toggle "Mark as due" to the on position.

Locking content until the start date is reached

Marking content as late after the due date is reached

Custom Reminders

You can optionally set up notifications to send to learners to remind them to complete the lesson or step on time.

  1. Select "Add a reminder" or open an existing reminder to edit it.

  2. Make any edits desired to your reminder.

  3. Add as many unique reminders as you'd like.

Remind - choose when to send the reminder.

Send as - choose the medium for sending the reminder.

Send to - you can send to all learners, learners who have not completed, or learners have completed. Lessons will be considered complete when all steps are completed.

Reminders will auto-fill with a default message. You can optionally overwrite the default subject line and body with your own custom text. Add curly brackets {{ to select from attributes that can auto-fill various data into your message, such as the user's name, step name, cohort name, etc.

Sample default notification:

Learners can manage their notifications if they need to make any adjustments.

What will learners see?

On the Path...

Learners will see the start and end dates you set on their path. The time will be noted in their local time zone. See more on scheduling for multiple time zones here.

On the Step...

On steps with future start dates with "Lock content until start" enabled, learners will see a lock screen and countdown if they try to access it before the start date is reached.

Steps with "Mark as due" enabled will not be locked down after the end date, but any steps that are completed past the end date will show an overdue timestamp in red letters to learners and to any staff members who are manually reviewing work, and staff can optionally apply a late penalty on scored steps that are marked late.

On their Home screen and synced calendars...

The schedule you set on a Path now feeds directly into the learner's Calendar feature. This is accessible from the learner's Home page and can also be exported to Apple Calendar, Google Calendar, and Microsoft Outlook.

If you edit the schedule while the course is in-progress, the dates will update on the Path, on the Steps, and on the Calendar and subscribed external calendar apps automatically.

Learn more about the Calendar feature from the learner's perspective here: Calendar.

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